"Shortage of Farmers Creates Dangerous Situation for US" and "Why You Should Be Skeptical of Walmart's Cheap Organic Food Article"
Please send this to your friends and neighbors. Of course farmers and food producers know this information, but it is new to many people.
WSU Extension Programming Needs Public Support When Presenting to the Skagit County Commissioners April 22
Dear Skagit Ag List Serve,
WSU Skagit County Extension will be presenting to the Skagit County Commissioners on Tuesday April 22nd at 9:30AM. If you are interested in supporting your WSU Skagit County Extension programing we would love to have you join us.
Sincerely, Don McMoran Don McMoran
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension EducatorDirectorWSU Skagit County Extension11768 Westar Ln. Suite ABurlington, WA 98233(360) 428-4270, ext 225
Let your future organic farmers know about below grant opportunities.
The CCOF Foundation, in collaboration with partner organizations UNFI Foundation, Driscoll’s, Organic Valley, Bradmer Foods, and National Cooperative Grocers Association will be making grants in three educational categories in 2014. Categories and requirements are: Kindergarten through Eighth Grade:
Grants for in-classroom organic projects in California
$1,000 grants available for 10 schoolsHigh School:
Grants for individuals to complete organic Supervised Agriculture Experience projects nationally
$1,000 grants available for 10 individuals Vocational and Higher Education:
Grants for students to study organic agriculture nationally
$2,500 grants available for at least 10 individuals
To learn more visit the website. http://www.ccof.org/ccof/structure/ccof-foundation/future-organic-farmer-grant-fundMelody L MeyerVP Policy and Industry Relations UNFIphone 401.528.8634 ext 62225Fax 831/462-5718SKYPE melody.meyerVisit my Blog at www.organicmattersblog.com
USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program- Historic Farm Bill Support Available through State Departments of Agriculture
WASHINGTON, April 17, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of approximately $66 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants to state departments of agriculture for projects that help support specialty crop growers, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, through research, programs to increase demand, and more.
The historic support provided by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill), will strengthen rural American communities by supporting local and regional markets and improving access to fresh, healthy, and nutritious high quality products for millions of Americans. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is designed to enhance the markets for specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.
"Specialty crop block grants help sustain the livelihoods of American farmers while strengthening the rural economy" said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "These grants contribute to food safety improvements, increased access to healthy food, and new research to help growers increase profitability and sustainability."
As directed by the Farm Bill, the block grants are now allocated to U.S. States and territories based on a formula that takes into consideration both specialty crop acreage and production value. Nearly all states are seeing an increase in funds.
AMS encourages applicants to develop projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, sustain the livelihood of American farmers, and strengthen rural economies by:
For more information visit the AMS Specialty Crop Block Grant Program webpage or contact Trista Etzig via phone at (202) 690-4942 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Department of Agriculture Available Grant Allocation FFY14 Alabama $ 483,202.15 Alaska $ 231,963.39 American Samoa $ 262,706.87 Arizona $ 1,100,428.11 Arkansas $ 350,294.21 California $ 19,761,117.56 Colorado $ 835,856.92 Connecticut $ 395,398.17 Delaware $ 336,755.94 District of Columbia $ 221,328.44 Florida $ 4,552,723.92 Georgia $ 1,393,718.92 Guam $ 223,434.76 Hawaii $ 469,614.89 Idaho $ 1,914,955.87 Illinois $ 654,970.71 Indiana $ 453,297.54 Iowa $ 307,610.17 Kansas $ 313,801.56 Kentucky $ 302,121.14 Louisiana $ 436,132.19 Maine $ 600,343.41 Maryland $ 502,785.48 Massachusetts $ 456,716.84 Michigan $ 1,981,817.31 Minnesota $ 1,389,725.01 Mississippi $ 479,540.04 Missouri $ 457,798.79 Montana $ 986,229.53 Nebraska $ 597,375.99 Nevada $ 300,952.49 New Hampshire $ 272,784.44 New Jersey $ 809,716.73 New Mexico $ 548,734.17 New York $ 1,410,387.64 North Carolina $ 1,169,378.27 North Dakota $ 3,135,521.17 Northern Mariana Islands $ 223,187.88 Ohio $ 653,493.18 Oklahoma $ 691,614.00 Oregon $ 1,949,764.89 Pennsylvania $ 1,039,933.92 Puerto Rico $ 522,655.00 Rhode Island $ 255,543.19 South Carolina $ 599,654.00 South Dakota $ 309,899.19 Tennessee $ 517,242.01 Texas $ 1,905,015.87 U.S. Virgin Islands $ 222,513.02 Utah $ 339,318.30 Vermont $ 278,282.61 Virginia $ 564,828.97 Washington $ 4,259,686.23 West Virginia $ 269,871.84 Wisconsin $ 1,403,956.26 Wyoming $ 290,559.83
The April Full Moon included a total Lunar eclipse! Monday’s eclipse started minutes after midnight and stayed in the total stage for about an hour and fifteen minutes.
This is the Full Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, or Fish Moon. The "Pink" adjective comes from blooming phlox which is uncommon around here, but the tasty pink salmon berry flowers are coming out. I cut my grass last week, and my remaining chicken (five got eaten in a night a month ago) is already brooding a clutch. So much for "free range". Spring is definitely blooming and the earth is warming up, promising a good garden season.
This month is a good one for learning some of the Zodiac signs. If you go out at about 9:00 any evening, the bright planet Jupiter will be in the south west. Jupiter is in the constellation Gemini, and the bright stars Castor and Pollux, the heads of the Gemini Twins, are a little to the left of Jupiter. As you move your eyes to the left, you go past the dim constellation Cancer and then due south is a constellation shaped like a sickle with a bright star at the base of the handle. The bright star is Regulus, and the sickle is the tail and back leg of the constellation Leo. Scan further to the left, to the southeast, and you will see the bright planet, Mars. Mars just happens to be above and to the right of a bright star, Spica. Spica is the lower hand of the reclining constellation, Virgo.
On the night of the Full Moon, the we had lots of cloud cover, but often the moon would show through, and occasionally Mars too. Spica was not bright enough to show around here. My poor photo of the moon going into total eclipse is attached. The red of the eclipsed moon was not bright enough to penetrate our clouds. A photo taken from a place with clear skies can be found here:
This photo is rotated about 90 degrees clockwise from what we would have seen if the night had been clear..
All this star and planet information can be found in the Sky and Telescope Interactive Sky Chart,
It is worth getting to know that site. Be sure to adjust it for your location: just enter our zip code and USA and it will adjust to our night sky.
Now that the Full Moon has passed, it is a much better time to see the evening stars. Luna rises 55 minutes later every night with moonrise at sunset on the night of the Full Moon. During the week before the Full Moon, (between first quarter and full) the evening sky is always lit by the moon, making it harder to see the stars. As the days pass after the Full Moon, every night has about another hour of darkness, and good sky viewing, before Luna rises. It is good to understand this whether watching the stars or walking in the night by moonlight.
Buttercup creeps around my garden, crawls through my rockery and springs to life in early spring when most everything else is still sleeping underground. This early surge potentially allows it to get a head start and an upper hand, and it is necessary to pull it out by its roots so it doesn't spring back a few days later. Luckily, in early spring the ground is moist and with a garden fork loosening the soil it is fairly easy to harvest a bed of buttercup...
Yes, I said harvest.
Buttercup makes a beautiful liquid fertilizer and contains elements for your soil that it is deficient in: phosphorus, potassium and calcium.
Fill a bucket with buttercup roots and all.
Cover with water. Stir with stick occasionally to submerge the leaves that want to keep growing right up out of the water. Stirring also mixes air into the brew which allows it break down more quickly. When it is good and stinky, poor off liquid. I use 1 part buttercup liquid fertilizer to 4 parts water. If you plan on using a watering can you will need to further strain it through a sieve.
Buttercup Liquid Fertilizer is great for early spring crops that demands a lot of feeding like garlic, shallots, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and spring greens. Apply fertilizer once a week while plants are in full growth.
Gathering Force Farm
On the Verge of Surge, We Converge: Real, Rural Economic Revival!
Thanks to all who participated and donated time and money! We had a huge free pile. Neighbors gave and received. Money made, tips and enthusiasm shared. The Alger Community Hall was a wonderful place to gather. Next year's tag line...Bring a picnic, bring some ale, and head on down to the Swap & Sale!
As you listen to the frogs singing, know that for the Squamish Tribe the frog represents some of the goals of Transition—voice of the people, cleansing, peace, rebirth, and adaptability.
The frog is a sign to the Squamish people to put away the winter activities and prepare or a new season. The frog symbolizes cleansing, peace and rebirth. In Northwest Aboriginal Culture, a Frog is a great communicator and often represents the common ground or voice of the people. A Frog embodies magic and good fortune connected with shaman or medicine man and with spiritual and therapeutic cleansing. Frog's songs are believed to contain divine power and magic. Frog is a messenger and communicator between species being valued for his adaptability because he freely travels between and survives in two worlds land and water, inhabiting both natural and supernatural realms. Frog holds knowledge and power and is known as a positive spirit driver. The Frog closely linked with femininity and womanhood often depicted to be woman in or springtime and new life. The Frog designs are often utilized as decorative elements and imagery are carved on practically everything the people utilize, including house posts, bowls, and totem poles where the frog is often seen peeking out with his tongue out and from under another creature's ears, mouth or hands. The Haida carved frogs on all of their house posts, believing that this would keep the poles from falling over. His shape and green body can identify the Frog and he is also most often depicted with a wide mouth, or grin, with an extended tongue.
The Squamish Tribe's traditional territory is located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, but the frogs are singing their hearts out in my yard.
Chuckanut Transition Community
We're all rural, independent and capable people learning to live cooperatively with one another and with our natural surroundings while recreating our lost village economic network.